Undergrads Share Research With Lawmakers At Capitol

Jan 29, 2014

Undergraduate researchers from Utah State University and the University of Utah will gather at the rotunda in the State Capitol Thursday to present their research to state legislators.

Research on Capitol Hill was founded 14 years ago as a way for universities to showcase undergraduate research.

Scott Bates is involved with deciding which USU students present at the capitol. He calls the event a distinct experience for undergraduates and lawmakers, some of whom are in charge of state funding for research grants.

“To me it’s one of the crown jewel events in undergrad research,” said Bates. “Legislators get to learn and students get to learn and the university benefits. I think this is one of those everybody wins kind of things.”

USU student Lia Bogoev will be presenting at the capitol for the first time this year. She works in a lab researching ways to create hydrogen gas through an artificial photosynthetic process that can then be used as clean energy.

“Undergraduate research forces you to be a problem solver," she said. "And to think about what kinds of things are wrong with our world and what we can do to fix them and how to apply the learning we’ve done in the classroom to all sorts of different fields and all sorts of career opportunities.”

As a computer science major, Bogoev says her time in the lab will help her develop research technology that may better serve future scientists.

“What I hope to do in computer science is to create programs that are easier to use and more intuitive,” she added. “I know that research is lacking computer programs that are very useful and easy to use and exactly what we need, so I want to be able to solve those kinds of problems and make research easier in the future.”

A total of 50 posters will be presented at the event which is open to the public.